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Tiny Creatures Come to Life in Nikon's 'Small Worlds' Photo Contest

Tiny Creatures Come to Life in Nikon's 'Small Worlds' Photo Contest | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Without access to a microscope or a sophisticated zoom lens, most people don't get to see plant pores and cricket tongues up close. But the entrants in the 2014 Nikon Small World photography contest offer an intimate look at tiny realms rarely seen outside of a lab. The judges of the annual contest will reveal their top picks on Oct. 30, but the following images are a sample of the submissions. More information can be found on the contest website.

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The Most Amazing Science Images of 2013

The Most Amazing Science Images of 2013 | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

From slow-motion footage on YouTube to deep-space satellite imagery to weird washcloths on the International Space Station, this was a big year for science.

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Amazing Science: Science Photography Postings

Amazing Science: Science Photography Postings | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Photography (derived from the Greek word "photos" for "light" and "graphos" for "drawing") is the art, science, and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film, or electronically by means of an image sensor. Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. Photography has many uses for business, science, manufacturing, art, recreational purposes, and mass communication.

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TIME and SPACE - Stunning Satellite Images of a Changing Earth

TIME and SPACE - Stunning Satellite Images of  a Changing Earth | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Exclusive timelapse: See climate change, deforestation and urban sprawl unfold as Earth evolves over 30 years.

 

Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.

 

That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Surveillance spacecraft had done that before, of course, but they paid attention only to military or tactical sites. Landsat was a notable exception, built not for spycraft but for public monitoring of how the human species was altering the surface of the planet. Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth. TIME is proud to host the public unveiling of these images from orbit, which for the first time date all the way back to 1984.

 

Over here is Dubai, growing from sparse desert metropolis to modern, sprawling megalopolis. Over there are the central-pivot irrigation systems turning the sands of Saudi Arabia into an agricultural breadbasket — a surreal green-on-brown polka-dot pattern in the desert. Elsewhere is the bad news: the high-speed retreat of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska; the West Virginia Mountains decapitated by the mining industry; the denuded forests of the Amazon, cut to stubble by loggers.

 

It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

 

These Timelapse pictures tell the pretty and not-so-pretty story of a finite planet and how its residents are treating it — razing even as we build, destroying even as we preserve. It takes a certain amount of courage to look at the videos, but once you start, it’s impossible to look away.

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Toshiba Creates Smartphone Sensor That Can Focus AFTER The Picture Is Taken

Toshiba Creates Smartphone Sensor That Can Focus AFTER The Picture Is Taken | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The Lytro camera is likely one of the cooler pieces of tech to be developed so far this century. What makes this camera so great is its ability to capture the entire light field in a given scene. This data is then stored in the digital image, making it possible to focus on all parts of the picture after it’s been taken. Photos taken with the Lytro camera are interactive in a sense, allowing the viewer to look at every part of the image in a clearer view rather than be stuck at one static point of view.

 

Though the Lytro is responsible for some very cool photos, the technology still has a way to go. As it stands, the camera is a bit pricey (about $400) and requires plenty of light and a steady hand to take the right picture.

 

Additionally, in order to make full use of the camera’s potential, it’s easier for trained photographers to get just the right shot.

 

For better or worse, Toshiba has said they’ll be bringing this kind of technology to smartphones in the next 2 years. According to MobileBurn.com, Toshiba has created a tiny lytro-esque sensor which can fit in today’s mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This new camera module works by placing half a million tiny lenses in front of the sensor in order to capture light from all angles. These lenses work to provide the sensor with an exorbitant amount of data, such as the angles of light and other elements of the scene in question, This data is then compiled into one image which the end user can then edit and shift the focus, should they want to.

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After 9 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, we now have pictures of every living species of bird of paradise

After 9 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, we now have pictures of every living species of bird of paradise | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
It took eight years. But now every bird of paradise species has been photographed in the wild.

Birds of paradise represent an extreme example of Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection: Females choose mates based on certain appealing characteristics, thus increasing the odds that those traits will pass from one generation to the next. In New Guinea an abundance of food and a scarcity of predators have allowed the birds to flourish—and to exaggerate their most attractive traits to a degree that even literal-minded scientists have called absurd.

The brilliant plumes have been prized as decorative objects in Asia for thousands of years. Hunters who traded the first specimens to Europeans in the 16th century often removed the birds’ wings and legs to emphasize plumes. This inspired a notion that they were literally the birds of the gods, floating through the heavens without ever alighting, gathering sustenance from the paradisiacal mists.
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10 Images That Changed the Course of Science

10 Images That Changed the Course of Science | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

One image can change the way we see the world, especially in science. From photographs of movement that's too fast for the human eye to perceive, to atomic force microscope images of atomic bonds, pictures created by new technologies have often catalyzed scientific discovery. More than tools of discovery, though, images can help scientists communicate the reality of what they study to each other and the public. One poignant image can change not just the course of science, but also ordinary people's perception of their place in the cosmos. Here are ten powerful images that did just that.

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WIRED: In Billions of Years, Aliens Will Find These Photos in a Dead Satellite

WIRED: In Billions of Years, Aliens Will Find These Photos in a Dead Satellite | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Long after human civilization is gone without a trace, our satellites will still orbit Earth intact. Last Pictures is a project to store 100 images on one of them to be discovered later.

 

Of all the images that have ever been made, would you be able to select just 100 to represent our species and human achievement Trevor Paglen’s Last Pictures is a project to do not only that, but also launch those images into geosynchronous orbit around Earth – all so that long after humans are gone, any space-wanderer will be able to fathom what humanity was all about. The project is based on the idea that after billions of years, all signs of human civilization will have eroded away on Earth, but its satellites will still spin around the planet, making them the best bet for an indefinite time capsule. “Any group of people would come up with 100 totally different images, but that is part of the fun. It’s an impossible project. Part of it was to engage peoples’ imaginations,” says artist Trevor Paglen, who conceived of the concept and collaborated with scientists, anthropologists, curators and corporations to get the images into space.

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Science and Art: The 20 Awesomest Pieces of Burning Man Art

Science and Art: The 20 Awesomest Pieces of Burning Man Art | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

 

 


Via Peter S Witham
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Stunning Infrared Photographs

Stunning Infrared Photographs | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

We're no strangers to infrared photography, yet the visual results of the technology never cease to amaze us. Photographer Oleg Stelmach, aka Elektraua, tackles the art of using infrared film to transform viridescent landscapes into mesmerizing expanses of white, icy foliage. His location of choice is the newly reopened part of Kiev called "Andrew's Descent." The urban setting with a healthy dose of towering trees and plant life is given a brand new, wintery look, boasting ivory leaves against a sapphire sky.

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Amazing Photos of Human Eyes

Amazing Photos of Human Eyes | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Incredible photo series by Suren Manvelyan features extremely detailed close-ups of human eyes.

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The Colorful World of Chemical Crystals

The Colorful World of Chemical Crystals | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A compilation of illustrated articles by Brian Johnston hosted on Micscape.

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Ball lightning has been recorded for first time

Ball lightning has been recorded for first time | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
For centuries, people have reported seeing luminous, spherical orbs during storms — a phenomenon known as “ball lightning”.


According to eyewitness reports they last for several seconds, moving through the air before eventually exploding. But meteorologists have always regarded such reports with suspicion, as they’d never been able to observe the phenomenon themselves. Inconsistencies in public reports led those studying these cases starting to think of them like UFO sightings — merely hallucinations, perhaps caused by electromagnetic effects.  Now, however, following years of attempts to replicate ball lightning in the lab, Chinese researchers have finally recorded it in the field.


Jianyong Cen, Ping Yuan, and Simin Xue were using spectrographs and video cameras to observe a thunderstorm near Qinghai in China’s desolate western provinces when they saw something they weren’t expecting. After a bolt of lightning hit the ground, a glowing ball about five metres wide rose up and travelled about 15 metres, before disappearing about 1.6 seconds later. Stunned, the researchers packed up their kit and headed back to their lab, where they discovered that the elements in the ball were the same as those in the local soil — silicon, iron and calcium. They published their results in the journal Physical Review Letters.


Their results lend credence to a theory first laid out in 1999 by John Abrahamson, a chemist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. His theory goes that when lightning strikes the ground, it immediately stores energy in silicon nanoparticles in the soil. The force of the strike then ejects those particles into the air, where they’re oxidised and release that energy as heat and light, glowing briefly.


That doesn’t explain away all the situations where ball lightning has been seen — like on aircraft flying high in the sky. But Abrahamson says that his findings fit the Chinese researchers’ results nicely. “Here’s an observation which has all the hallmarks of our theory,” he told New Scientist. “This is gold dust as far as confirmation goes.”

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Alien frontier: See the haunting, beautiful weirdness of Mars in Hi-Res Pictures

Alien frontier: See the haunting, beautiful weirdness of Mars in Hi-Res Pictures | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Mounted to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as it floats high above the red planet is the HiRISE telescope, an imaging device capable of taking incredibly high-resolution photos of the martian landscape. It's sent back nearly 30,000 photos during its time above the planet, which have been used by NASA to find clear landing spots for rovers, and by researchers to learn more about the features of Mars' surface.

 

The stunning views captured by HiRISE have inspired a book from the publisher Aperture, called This is Mars, which includes 150 of its finest looks at the planet. The entire collection is in black and white, however, as that's how HiRISE's images naturally turn out.

 

But by combining different color filters on the telescope, NASA is able to produce colored versions of most images too. They're known as "false color" images, since they won't perfectly match up with what the human eye would see. False color images are still useful, however, in helping researchers distinguish between different elements of Mars' landscape. They're also downright gorgeous to look through. Below, we've collected our own series of some of the most incredible sights taken by HiRISE throughout 2013.

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Adrian Rojas's comment, October 7, 2013 11:36 PM
Well I thought Aliens didn't exist? And if they didn't why are they saying they have found alien made things on Mars. I believe in aliens because there is proof but then you hear someone say no and they try to find some scientific way of proving that aliens don't exist. And some of the pictures here don't really show or prove that aliens made them because I could have just been eroded or gravity formed it like that. There is many explanation that these photographs are not alien made because it could of just been naturally made like that.

How do we have photos of Mars if we have never been there? And there was an article that said they have found water on Mars so it's not impossible if there was life on the planet. But you can't just jump on the conclusion that there are aliens on Mars.
Dr. Stefan Gruenwald's comment, October 8, 2013 2:32 AM
Alien in the title is used as an adjective and means "strange, foreign". It has NOTHING to do with actual aliens. Where do you get this idea from?
alenav09's curator insight, October 11, 2013 7:42 PM

Wow aliens that's crazy and to think some people actually think that there are no aliens we'll just wow. If you really think about it then you can see that we can't be the only possible life forms out there!!!!!

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A Year of Sky on Planet Earth

A Year of Sky on Planet Earth | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

With 360 movie panels, the sky over an entire year is shown in time lapse format as recorded by a video camera on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, California. Each panel shows one day. The camera recorded an image every 10 seconds from before sunrise to after sunset and from mid-2009 to mid-2010.

 

A time stamp showing the local time of day is provided on the lower right. The videos are arranged chronologically, with July 28 shown on the upper left, and January 1 located about about half way down. Although every day lasts 24 hours, daylight lasts longest in the northern hemisphere in June and the surrounding summer months, a fact which can be seen here as the bottom (and soon top) videos are the first to light up with dawn. The initial darkness in the middle depicts the delayed dawn and fewer daylight hours of winter.

 

In the videos, darkness indicates night, blue depicts clear day, while gray portrays pervasive daytime cloud cover. Many videos show complex patterns of clouds moving across the camera's wide field as that day progresses. As the videos collectively end, sunset and then darkness descend first on the winter days just above the middle, and last on the mid-summer near the bottom.

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The future of photography: How back-illuminated sensors work

The future of photography: How back-illuminated sensors work | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
With camera megapixel counts going through the roof, pixels have become incredibly small. Unfortunately, traditional sensor designs cover up the pixels with layers of wiring.

 

If you were asked to design a camera sensor, you’d naturally put the photo receptors on top, closest to the light. Oddly enough, because of the way chips are fabricated, until recently most camera sensors have captured light at the bottom, underneath layers of interconnections. The recent introduction of back-illuminated (BI) sensor technology (also referred to as backside-illuminated or BSI) has changed all that. It is now possible to build sensors “the right way round” with the photo receptive layer facing the light. Back illumination has made some headlines for allowing better low-light performance, but its worth diving into the technology, as it is going to be a lot more important than that.

 

Silicon is both the substrate on which chips are built and the material that performs the magic of turning photon energy into electrical energy that can be used to create images. It is therefore the simplest solution to create the photosensitive areas in the substrate silicon and stack the electronics on top — leaving openings in the wiring over each photosite (pixel) to allow light to pass through. As camera resolutions have increased, pixel sizes have decreased, especially in smartphones with their tiny sensors. The result is that more and more of the surface area of the sensor is covered by wiring, resulting in less and less light reaching the photosites. So there is a natural need to find a way to move the photosensitive region to the top of the chip, allowing it to gather more light.

 

Curiously, the human eye and most animal eyes are also built with the photosensitive pigments on the side furthest away from the light streaming through the eyeball. It isn’t known exactly why eyes are designed that way, but designing them this way definitely makes it easier to provide circulation to the energy-hungry rods and cones, as well as allowing cellular debris to be whisked away without floating around inside the eyeball. Creatures like cephalopods who rely on their eyes in the dark waters of the deep ocean do indeed have their photoreceptors close to the lenses of their eyes, to maximize the sheer amount of light captured.

 

If a sensor was only a layer of photosensitive silicon, it wouldn’t matter much which side was up. A pixel is a lot more than just the photodiode, however. It typically includes transistors and wiring for amplifying the charge, transferring it to the signal processing portion of the chip, and resetting itself between frames. Those electronics get placed on top of the silicon layer, partially obscuring it from the light and resulting in a well-like appearance for a typical pixel.

 

As you’d expect, putting the photodiode at the bottom of a well reduces the amount of light that reaches it, with some light bouncing off the wiring above, and some just not having the right angle to make it to the bottom of the well. Microlenses are used to reduce this problem (the human eye uses waveguides  known as Muller cells), but a meaningful amount of light is still lost before it gets to the photodiode to be captured. Typical sensor fill factors — the portion of light successfully captured — range from 30% to 80%. By contrast, a back-illuminated sensor can have a fill factor of nearly 100%.

 

 

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Top Science Pictures of the Year

Top Science Pictures of the Year | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Top Science Pictures of the Year - ScienceNOW

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Teresa Levy's curator insight, December 21, 2012 12:14 PM

top picture (science)?

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Ultra High-Speed Digital Video Camera (up to 2 million frames/sec)

Ultra High-Speed Digital Video Camera (up to 2 million frames/sec) | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Specialised Imaging Ltd., the leading technological innovator in ultra high-speed imaging, has introduced Kirana - a new ultra high-speed video camera that combines the flexibility of video technology with the resolution of an ultra high speed framing camera.

 

Incorporating a proprietary hybrid camera sensor the compact Kirana Ultra High-Speed Video Camera is uniquely able to deliver high resolution (924 x 768 pixels) and high speed (up to 2 million frames / second) in a no compromise design. Using a Kirana High-Speed Video Camera up to 40 events can be captured at a cyclic rate of 250ms or 2 seconds of video stored when operating at 1,000 frames / second. The full resolution of this exciting new high-speed video camera is maintained at all speeds.

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Camera Technique Captures New View Of Space And Time

Camera Technique Captures New View Of Space And Time | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
What if you could compress a video clip into a single image? That’s what Jay Mark Johnson, an artist and visual effects director, has accomplished through the use of a special camera technique. He calls the images “photographic timelines,” and his collected works offer quite a shift to conventional perception.

 

Pictures ordinarily taken with a regular still camera make the exposure time short but the field of view large. For his images, Johnson does the opposite: a narrow field of view is captured over a large period of time. To do this, he uses a technique involving an $85,000 slit camera designed to produce panoramas, in which a motor turns the camera as it takes high precision vertical images and stitches the images together. A modified technique involved blocking the rotation of the motor, which allowed the resulting slices to be strung together in progression. A single composite image then is a sliver of space captured over an extended period of time.


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National Science Foundation - International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge

National Science Foundation - International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Use the mouse and scroll down the image by dragging down the grey bar on the right side.

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Nikon Small World: Science Photo Competition from 1977-2011

Nikon Small World: Science Photo Competition from 1977-2011 | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

View the photo and video galleries

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Ramesh Raskar: Imaging at a trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion.

Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look "around" corners or see inside the body without X-rays.
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APOD: 2012 June 17 - Jupiter eclipsing the sun and its rings revealed by reflection

APOD: 2012 June 17 - Jupiter eclipsing the sun and its rings revealed by reflection | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Pictured above is an eclipse of the Sun by Jupiter, as viewed from Galileo. Small dust particles high in Jupiter's atmosphere, as well as the dust particles that compose the rings, can be seen by reflected sunlight.

 

Jupiter's rings were discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Adrastea, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit.

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Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition lets us see beyond the capabilities of our unaided eyes. Almost 2000 entries from 70 countries vied for recognition in the 37th annual contest, which celebrates photography through a microscope.
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